Duke physicists Jonathan Barés and Robert Behringer and colleagues are using this computerized 3D rendering of beads in a box to serve as a model for soil, sand or snow. Colored lines show the network of forces as the virtual particles are pushed together. Thick red lines connect the particles that are experiencing the brunt of the force.
Duke University researchers and colleagues from the University of California, Berkeley have secured more than $1.8 million from the National Science Foundation to help materials scientists around the world solve a high school math problem in linear algebra.
In the past 15 years, metamaterials have brought breakthroughs like invisibility cloaks, acoustic cloaks, miniaturized flat antennas, and you-don’t-have-to-stop-anymore airport security screenings. During Spring term 2015, Sir John Pendry of Imperial College London visited co-founder of the field David R.
The colored dots and swirls of "dust" in this tornado-shaped diagram represent thousands of chemical compounds grouped by their physical and chemical similarities in a new technique called "materials cartography," by Stefano Curtarolo, a professor of material sciences and physics and PhD student Corey Oses.
A biomaterials lab led by Gabriel Lopez has devised a way to grow uniformly sized particles of silicon gel that can be sorted by soundwaves. In a liquid chamber with a standing acoustic wave, most particles will gather at the nodes where the wave is standing still. But the new particles are actually attracted to the antinodes where the highest point of the wave is constantly shifting up and down.
Taking a lesson from the way human skin can wrinkle, assistant professor Xuanhe Zhao of mechanical engineering and materials science has developed a nanofilm that is spread on a pre-stretched surface and then allowed to relax, creating a microscopic landscape with a precise pattern of high peaks and low valleys. The method produces large-area surface patterns faster, cheaper and with more precision than existing approaches.
There's a graveyard behind Duke University's free electron laser lab where physics experiments go to die.
Scraps of metal and cinderblocks litter the ground, which is overgrown by vines and patrolled by the occasional feral cat. Half a dozen stacked shipping containers line the space, filled with accelerator and detector equipment whose time has passed or was never realized.
But it's not all junk. A team of physicists is resurrecting something precious out there: several tons of surplus battleship steel.
Copper nanowires have shown promise for use in touch screens, organic LED lights and solar cells -- and the lab of chemistry professor Benjamin Wiley grows them from scratch. When added to a growth solution, these "seeds," octahedra made of copper oxide nanoparticles (one micrometer wide), sprout nanowires in mere minutes.
Silver nanoparticles with a special coating to enable visualization float in a sample of water like so many stars in the night sky. The safety of these particles in a natural system is being tested in experimental chambers operated in the Duke Forest by the Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology (CEINT), which recently won a $15 million renewal grant from the National Science Foundation. Slight variations in diameter cause the particles to reflect a hyperspectral light source in different colors.
Graphene, a sheet of pure carbon that looks something like chicken wire under a microscope, has some great optical, electrical and mechanical properties, making it useful for electronics, energy storage, composite materials and biomedicine. But it's also notorious for crumpling up and sticking to itself like a wet piece of tissue paper, says Xuanhe Zhao, assistant professor in Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering.